Speeding Drivers and Fatal Car Wrecks in Missouri

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Data from the federal government show that the number of people killed in Missouri car crashes declined just a bit.  The bad news is that despite this minor retrench, more than 900 Missourians died in motor vehicle accidents in one year.

In August the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report on fatal traffic wrecks for 2017.  This is the most recent year for which the NHTSA has final data.  That year, U.S. traffic deaths fell some 2% compared to 2016.

Over 900 People Killed a Year in Missouri Traffic Accidents

After a 9% rise in motor vehicle accident deaths in 2016, Missouri fell right in line with this nationwide 2017 decrease, experiencing a 2% reduction in fatal car and truck crashes over the year prior.  But even then, federal data reveal 930 people died in Missouri traffic crashes.

What are the leading causes of fatal traffic crashes in Missouri?  The new NHTSA missive reports on two: speeding drivers and drunk drivers.

According to the NHTSA, 37% of Missouri’s deadly motor vehicle accidents were speeding related. Perhaps surprisingly, the overwhelming number of those speeding drive fatal crashes did not occur on Missouri’s interstates.

Speeding Drivers and Fatal Crashes

When a driver speeds and is involved in a fatal crash, that person likely may have other dangerous actions in their driving history.  According to a NHTSA report published in May (“Speeding”), in 2017:

·         21% of speeding drivers in a fatal crash had a previously recorded car or truck accident

·         26% of speeding drivers in a fatal crash had a previous conviction for speeding

·         24% of speeding drivers in a fatal crash previously had their license suspended or revoked

Also in 2017, 27% of the 930 people killed on Missouri roads were in a crash with a legally drunk driver, according to the NHTSA.  That legal threshold is a blood-alcohol content of at least .08%.  (For commercial truck drivers in Missouri, the BAC for being legally drunk is .04%.)

In the May report, the NHTSA notes that speeding drivers in fatal crashes in 2017 were more likely to also be drunk than non-speeding drivers involved in deadly wrecks. While 16% of non-speeding drivers in fatal accidents were found to have a BAC of at least .08%, 37% of drivers who were speeding were legally drunk at the time of their deadly crash.

And it’s not just drivers who pay the ultimate price for their carelessness behind the wheel.

Just about two out of every 10 people killed in Missouri traffic accidents in 2017 were passengers.  The rates are even more devastating when tractor-trailers are involved in fatal crashes.  The NHTSA in January reported that, nationwide, 72% of all people killed in accidents with commercial trucks were occupants in other vehicles.

When drivers in Missouri either speed or drive drunk – or do both simultaneously – they greatly increase the odds for causing fatal accidents and upending the lives of many innocent people.

If you had a family member die in a crash caused by another driver, speak with an attorney who represents car accident victims about your legal rights to just compensation from those responsible.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray Ritter Graham, posted in Blog October 14, 2019


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